Santa Paula Times

Rotary Club: $10M bond
ballot measure addressed

February 18, 2000
Santa Paula News
It's been decades since the Santa Paula Elementary School District attempted to pass a bond measure and Superintendent Bonnie Bruington told the Rotary Club she is confident the public will again support the effort. Bruington said Measure D “D is for district” will be decided through the March 7th primary election.She noted that “1961 was the last time we received such money and the school's show it. . .Measure D requires a two-third vote to pass and is affordable. For every $100,000 of accessed property value the cost will be $3.19 a month. It's so important to the district and students.”The bond amount is $10 million which could swell with an additional $40 million through matching grants, she noted. Bond money will be used strictly for facility improvements equitably for each of the districts eight schools - campuses are approximately 35 years old - and “no bond money can be used for administrative salaries,” stressed Bruington.State law prohibits the use of lottery money for construction and new classrooms are vital with class size reduction mandates. “The district had to purchase portables and some of our schools look like portable city,” cutting into recreation and sports areas.“The district will repair, improve and build new classrooms,” to meet class size reduction as well as the rising enrollment, Bruington said.Matching funds are just that, and the district “can't apply for them unless we have the matching funds. . .the $10 million bond could mean $50 million through grants, serious money to fix our serious problems.”
Such problems include the need to repair leaky roofs, upgrading classroom electrical and heating and ventilation systems, making permanent repairs to the 35-year-old plumbing, fixes for flooring, doors and windows (ridden with termites. . .at one school when vines were removed it turned out they were holding the windows in place) and locks; in addition, “technology is an issue. . .some classroom electrical systems are so old that students in one classroom have to shut off their computers before students in another classroom can turn theirs on.”Rotarian Scott Rushing noted that the bond will “cost just a dime a day to improve Santa Paula students' education. . .”“An excellent way to put it,” said Bruington. “And true. . .nothing is more important than education and improving our schools will not only help our students but the city at large,” through the higher property values that go hand-in-hand with safe, clean, state-of-the-art and ample school facilities. If schools are not repaired now, Bruington added, “it will only cost more in the future.”